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Tag: Manistee River
Sustain Our Great Lakes Awards $5.7 Million in Grants

Sustain Our Great Lakes partners announced 20 projects selected to receive more than $5.7 million in grant funding for ecological restoration in the Great Lakes basin. With a focus on restoring coastal wetland habitat and improving the quality and connectivity of stream and riparian habitat, this investment will help protect, restore, and enhance the ecological integrity of the Great Lakes and surrounding region. Grant recipients will match the new funding with an additional $7 million, for a total on-the-ground impact of $12.7 million.

Some Like it Cold – Conserving Coldwater Habitat

From the big open water of our Great Lakes to the secluded creeks of our headwaters, we are lucky to have a vast array of freshwater habitats. Some fish like bass, whitefish and pike thrive in our big lakes. Others like our brook trout depend on our coldwater streams. Keeping these habitats in balance is critical for a diverse fishery.

Good News for Manton Creek

Since the removal of the Manton Millpond Dam in 2011, Manton Creek has undergone a remarkable transformation. The Michigan DNR highlighted this change in a recently released Status of the Fishery Resource Report for Manton Creek. The shallow, warm waters of the historical Millpond have been replaced by a cool, rushing stream with an outstanding trout population.

Upper Manistee River Restoration Project Report Released

This report provides an overview of the Upper Manistee River Restoration project. Two overarching goals defined this project: Habitat restoration on the 1,720 acre Flowing Well Trout Farm property and replacement of the most severe, habitat degrading road/stream crossing on the Manistee River’s North Branch on Mecum Road. Located in rural Kalkaska County in northern Michigan, this project was completed over a five year period with the help of many dedicated partners and funders.


Manistee dam removal yields snake hibernaculum
By Kevin Duffy, Great Lakes Echo

Conservation biologists have built the first artificial home for snakes in northern Michigan. And they removed an entire dam to do it. Experts say that the snakes need the help. Native snakes, including the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake and Northern water snake, require shelter from cold winters. But development threatens their habitat in what is “the greatest impact to amphibian and reptile populations and reproduction,” said David Mifsud, a wetland ecologist at Herpetological Resource and Management who helped with the restoration.

River Care™ Kids Clean Up at Tippy Dam

Traverse City, MI - Over 75 elementary school children hit the trails and stream banks to clean up trash along the heavily used fishing access at Tippy Dam on the Manistee River on June 9. This was the thirteenth consecutive year for the event that is part of Kaleva Norman Dickson Elementary School’s Earth Day activities and is coordinated by the Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) and supported by the Consumers Energy Foundation and the Michigan Fly Fishing Club.

Northwest Michigan Stream Connectivity Report Released

In 2010, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service awarded Conservation Resource Alliance grants totaling $374,630 through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership. Ultimately, these on-the-ground community based projects opened up approximately 150 miles of habitat for native fish species and other aquatic organisms and restored more than 30 miles of instream habitat and 220 acres of riparian corridor habitat.

Flowing Well Finale

The final touches are being put on the former Flowing Well Trout Farm property in Kalkaska County. Our staff has been restoring the 1,720 acre property since 2008 and the finish line is now in sight.

Upper Manistee Restoration Update at Flowing Well

Over the last year, CRA has continued to restore and enhance the Upper Manistee River at the former Flowing Well Trout Farm. Projects have concentrated on building habitat for both aquatic and terrestrial species. The placement of woody structures along stream channels has created high-quality aquatic habitat.

Upper Manistee Protection & Restoration Project

The North Branch of the Manistee River is a cold, groundwater-fed tributary to the Manistee River and is a state designated Natural River with a naturally reproducing population of brook trout. The riparian corridor surrounding this river functions as an important regional wildlife corridor and is buffered by thousands of acres of state owned land.

These ecological hot spots are threatened and degraded by impacts at the Mecum Road crossing of the North Branch and the abandoned Flowing Well Trout Farm, a 1720-acre property acquired by the State of Michigan. Through this project, CRA coordinated the replacement of the existing Mecum Road crossing with a new Timber Bridge structure and continues to restore the Flowing Well Trout Farm for fish passage and habitat improvement.

Mecum Road Timber Bridge Completed on Manistee North Branch

The Mecum road crossing consisted of five undersized culverts and was severely impounding water and backing up sand for ¾ mile upstream, in addition to drastically warming the water upstream of the crossing. Brook trout had been nearly extirpated from the stream stretch upstream of the crossing.

Surveys from 2002-2004 showed abundant brook trout, with some exceeding 12” in length. However, in a 2008 survey, only two brook trout were caught in the reach; the habitat had dramatically changed.

Mecum Road was considered the worst remaining crossing on the North Branch of the Manistee. The old structures were removed and replaced with a modern timber bridge, setting the stage for this important stretch of river to regain it's vitality and health.

Dam Removal Resurrects Trout Stream
By Jeff Alexander, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition 

Project name: Flowing Well Trout Farm Restoration Project, Kalkaska, Mi.

Description: The Flowing Well Trout Farm, built in the mid-1900s, erected 12 small dams to create fish rearing ponds. The dams, built in the North branch of the Manistee River and the Flowing Well Creek, diverted the natural flow of a trout stream, caused unnaturally high water temperatures, blocked fish passage and disrupted the natural movement of sediment and woody debris in the river.

Approximate cost of project: $626,000

A Dam Problem
By Dustin Dwyer, The Environment Report

All this week, we're focusing on stories about fish for our series, "Swimming Upstream." Dustin Dwyer traveled all around the Lower Peninsula for the series, and for today's story, he went to the site of a former trout farm along the headwaters of the Manistee River, near Grayling. Dustin went to learn about the complex world of dam removal:

The Flowing Well trout farm was built half a century ago. Dotted along the river here are a number of little dams, each one only 4 or 5 feet high, built out of simple wood planks. But if you're a fish, this might as well be the Hoover.

Manistee River, Michigan Named “Water To Watch” For 2011

The National Fish Habitat Action Plan ( has unveiled the 2011 10 “Waters to Watch” list, a collection of rivers, streams, estuaries , watershed systems and shores that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts to protect, restore or enhance their current condition.

Dam removal planned on Upper Manistee River
By Sheri McWhirter, The Leader & Kalkaskian

KALKASKA – Four small dams will be removed from Kalkaska County streams in an ecological restoration project in the Manistee River watershed.

The work is intended to restore the free flow of the Upper Manistee River in an area that’s packed with dams, impoundments and an old trout farm. The property became state land in 2008 through a conservation effort and now habitat improvement work is set to begin next spring.

River Care Kids Clean Up at Tippy Dam

Over 120 elementary school children helped clean up trash along the heavily used fishing access at Tippy Dam on the Manistee River. The clean up took place on May 25 along the north and south sides of the river at the Dam. This is the eighth year for the event that is part of Wellston Elementary School’s Earth Day activities and is supported by the Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) and the Consumers Energy Foundation.

Big Improvements for a Small Creek
By Kimberly Balke, January 2010 Catalyst

In 1867, a local citizen named John Wheeler built a dam on what came to be known as Wheeler Creek. Though there were a couple of fires at the dam site, the structure was repeatedly rebuilt over the years and has kept Wheeler Creek from freely flowing into the Manistee River ever since.

In October of 2009, CRA worked with partners to remove Wheeler Creek Dam. The concrete spillway was breaking apart, the stop logs were in poor condition, and the risk of failure was looming for the 20 foot high dam. The dam removal process has not been without challenges. Over 140 years worth of accumulated sediment and debris had collected in the ponds behind the dam, and with the highway and Manistee River immediately downstream of the dam we lacked an ideal sand trap site.

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Conservation Resource Alliance

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